Ryan Ruffels turns professional; will debut at Torrey Pines

Ryan Ruffels, one of Australia’s best young amateur golfers has announced he is turning professional.

Ryan Ruffels has long been touted as one of Australia’s future golfing stars having won last year’s Australian Boys Amateur event, became the youngest-ever winner of the prestigious Riversdale Cup and represented Australia at the Eisenhower Trophy and will complete his amateur career at 13th in the world.

At just 17-years, Ruffels announced today that he is turning professional at a conference held at Victoria Golf Club this morning. Check out the full media conference videos below.

Ruffels’ first start as a professional will come at the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines at the end of the month, but it’s not the first time he has teed it up in a professional event. Ruffels has played in a number of events on the PGA Tour of Australasia with his best result coming at the 2014 Australian Masters where he finished in a tie for 17th place.

Arguably the toughest moment of his amateur career came at the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship in Hong Kong last October. The winner would earn themselves a spot in the Masters Tournament and having played himself into a tie for second place, the final round was abandoned due to bad weather. After completing his year-12 studies soon after, his decision to turn professional was all but sealed, despite being just 17 years-of-age.

“It’s been an anxious wait to tell everyone. For probably 2-3 months I’ve been set on this particular time and it’s pretty exciting the time is finally here,” Ruffels said this morning.

“For a while now, as much as I’m 17, I feel like I’ve been playing the amateur and junior stuff for a long time. I played my first amateur at 12 and the men’s interstate series not long after that, so as much as people are going to say, `He’s only 17, why is he turning pro?’, I feel like the time is right.

Why all the fuss over one kid turning professional?

It’s clear from anyone that has ever seen Ryan Ruffels play golf that he has the golf game to be successful on the international stage, but this kid (at just 17) stands out from the crowd because of the head on his shoulders. Ruffels has the temperament and focus to do big things in golf.

Watch for the name ‘Ruffels’ on leaderboards in the coming years.

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